Efficient computer service lost in the email
By Katie Warfield
Problems with the computer systems at Western have flourished since the start of the 1998/99 school year.
"We've had to deal with seven major computer problems, which have affected both the students and the administration, since the beginning of school," said Bill Genn, assistant director of information technology services.
"Some of these have been fixed and the others are being dealt with one at a time," he reassured.
There are currently two minor problems which ITS is attempting to fix, explained Genn and up until Tuesday the email network was still experiencing problems which made emailing extremely slow. This had been made worse by an earlier problem in the program code, he added.
He said the problems began following a lightning storm the weekend before Orientation Week which caused a power outage and brought the mainframe offline for three days. This delay made access to the registrar's office virtually impossible for people who were, among other things, trying to access their class timetables for the new year, he added.
"Obviously with the addition of all the new users at the start of the year the server will have problems handling the great demand," said Peter Mercer, VP-administration at Western. "I believe that ITS is doing their best to handle these problems," Mercer added.
"When they're working they're slow, and when they're not working, which is mostly the case well, they're not working," said Matt Calvert, a second-year psychology student.
Some people, on the other hand, are enjoying the steps Western has taken in the direction of computer technology. "I don't have a computer at home so using the ones at school are the only way I can write and check emails from friends," said Kathy Mileski, a second-year health sciences student.
"It's not an issue of necessarily buying new computers to improve the system, we just have to replace specific parts," Genn said.
ITS has been performing required upgrades on the parts of the system for the last two months and the problem should be fixed within two months after they are completed, he added.